What Wabi Sabi Means to Me

What is Wabi Sabi?

I see it as the appreciation of the imperfect and transient. A reminder that we too, are passing through this life, but for a moment. In a Wabi Sabi home, a flower is placed in a room as a reminder of that impermanence. Beauty is seen in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Beauty is even seen in rust or a chipped bowl. A scar from an operation or a fall. A very loved, old tattered book. The beauty comes from the acceptance. Wabi Sabi is emotionally warm. There is an element of love in it.

To me, my mum’s old worn out typewriter is my idea of Wabi Sabi.

photo by bookjunkie

The more I read about Wabi Sabi, the calmer I feel. It feels like I am meditating as I read and understand the words. It’s hard for me to explain, but it makes me feel that I have all that I need.

It’s a reminder not to cling to material things as we can’t take them with us. A reminder to appreciate what we have and even aging and the wrinkles in our skin. I find this last bit harder to do as I still fret over wrinkles and white hair. Although I am totally not comfortable with any form of plastic surgery or even botox. Any form of unnatural alterations. But I would be so happy to get to that zen moment when I don’t care anymore. To accept, growth, decay and death.

In design, think simple and slow. Uncluttered. Humble and in tune with nature. Think a Japanese Tea Ceremony. A zen garden. There is beauty and elegance in space and emptiness.

No wonder I feel the most serene when I am in a natural garden setting. Especially a Japanese garden. Just pictures of a zen garden is able to make me feel a certain lightness.

Imagine a tree and it’s branches.  A tree is never perfectly symmetrical, just like our faces. In Wabi Sabi there is beauty in asymmetry.

The root of wabi sabi lies in Zen Buddhism. Brought from India, to China to Japan. A reverence for everyday life.

Wabi Sabi is a state of mind. It’s spiritual. Living fully in the moment, and acceptance. I hope to get closer to living a Wabi Sabi life.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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5 Responses to What Wabi Sabi Means to Me

  1. Jayne says:

    That’s similar to the Dharma teaching. In fact, it’s all about the state of mind, to be in a constant mindfulness. Pretty interesting how these Buddhism teachings are very much psychologically linked.

    • bookjunkie says:

      I am very drawn to this way of thinking. Of no-mind. Although there is still this constant chatter in my head that I can’t seem to shut out…will try to get there.

  2. Xmen says:

    It helps to be in a place conducive to attain such a state of mind. It is difficult to experience complete peace and silence in a busy city. I wish you the best.

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thank you so much. The more I read about it the more I think it’s possible, especially if we can find a quiet green place somewhere. Glad about our parks.

  3. Pingback: Less Clutter Please: But it's So Hard to Get Started | White as milk

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